Underlayment Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is underlayment?
Underlayment is the name for the product that lives beneath most flooring and carpeting. Flooring underlayment operates as a protective layer between your floor and subfloor.

Do I need an underlayment?
Almost every type of flooring requires some amount of cushion between it and the subfloor below. Most flooring manufacturers will include recommendations for underlayment to help select the best product for your flooring. Likewise, most manufacturer warranties are contingent on following the recommended minimums.

What’s different about Eco Cork Foam® (ECF) Underlayment?
ECF is an all-in-one flooring underlayment for wood, laminate and vinyl flooring. ECF is made from a specially engineered blend of polyethylene and granulated cork. ECF is waterproof and the only underlayment with a built-in 6 mil vapor barrier, making it perfect for concrete or wood subfloors on any level of your home.

Is Eco Cork Foam recommended for use with any type of flooring?
Eco Cork Foam is designed for use with laminate flooring, hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood systems.

What makes a premium underlayment better?
Underlayments provide valuable protection for your flooring. Beginning with the bottom up, underlayments smooth out minor subfloor imperfections, ensuring your floor lays correctly and protecting and preserving tongue-and-groove connections. Underlayments can also protect flooring from moisture by resisting or blocking vapors that escape from the subfloor. Comfort, warmth and noise are also important considerations. Quality underlayments are used to improve acoustical properties by minimizing the sounds caused by foot traffic and by reducing the transmission of sounds. Likewise, a good underlayment can improve insulation properties, reduce walking fatigue and help your flooring to feel better under your feet. If you’ve ever walked barefoot across a soft, warm, solid floor and took notice, the odds are high that it was a quality underlayment that made it memorable.

Do I need underlayment if there’s attached underlayment to my flooring?
Most contractors and specialists who work with attached pad flooring opt for an additional underlayment to provide the support, protection, and enhancements needed to ensure that flooring performs and lasts according to expectations. Most certainly, if you are working in an area where moisture is an issue, a vapor barrier is a must.

What is a moisture/vapor barrier?
Don’t let the lingo confuse you. Moisture barriers and vapor barriers are the same product. They function as a barrier, preventing the migration of water vapor. When used with flooring, a vapor barrier prevents moisture from passing from the subfloor to the flooring above.

How thick should my underlayment be?
Performance is tied to several factors, and thickness is just one. For the record, most underlayments are 2-3mm thick but can be thicker if designed for use with carpet or to smooth out subfloor imperfections. When it comes to thickness, the best place to start is with your flooring manufacturer.

Do you have more questions for the Eco Cork Foam team?
Send us your questions, and we’ll get back to you. You may even see your questions answered in future blog posts! Contact us here.

About Us

ECF is manufactured in North Carolina by Palziv, North America. Palziv brings together world-class science and engineering to deliver innovative products, materials and services for the construction, building, automotive, recreational, medical and packaging industries. Every day, we strive to grow our community, working with others to seek sustainable, innovative, market-driven solutions that promote better, safer, and healthier lifestyles and protect the environment for generations to come.